In everything good there is also something bad and therefore I wanted to say a word on crime because this is such a huge topic when traveling into Mexico and Central America.
My opinion (and experience) is that there is less crime in Mexico and Central America than in North America, which is also statistically proven.
However, travelers are popular targets because they stand out and usually have something worth stealing.
Thus the odds substantially increase because you, most likely, are a more desirable target to the criminal than the local farmer that earns in a year what you earn in a month.
The best thing to remember is to use common sense and avoid putting yourself or your valuables in a situation that would invite crime.
Most crimes in Mexico and Central America are victimless, but unfortunately not all. Victimless means that El Senor Criminal will attempt to take your belongings without physically threatening or harming you.
They usually break into your car or hotel room when you are not around. Hence, park in safe places, stay in hotels that have locks on the doors and windows and think defensively when in large cities, (i.e. don?t carry your wallet in your back pocket).
There is more about crime in the Gringos Guide, but you get the idea.
(Note: In the last 50 years there has never been a tourist kidnapped in Baja!)
- Do not drive at night.
- Do not camp in open areas.
- Do not stop for anyone (Even if they look like official police).
Be attentive and don’t flash any bling either, try and blend in with your surroundings and always be on the defensive when you are in crowed places.